Greek Recipes     Poultry


Stuffed Pigeon / Peristeria Gemista


This Macedonian recipe makes an elaborate holiday meal.  If you can't get pigeon, substitute the poultry of your choice.  The sweet stuffing is really great. 


4 whole pigeons, cleaned  
chopped pigeon livers - if you’re able to reserve them  
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Greek Kefalotiri, in small chunks  
1/2 cup rice  
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped  
1/4 cup raisins
1 small onion, chopped  
salt & pepper  
2 lemons   
Par boil the rice in salt water for 10 minutes and drain.  In a skillet, heat the butter and fry the onions with the livers.  Add the rice, salt & pepper, walnuts, raisins, and cheese.  Toss it all together, mixing well.

Remove the stuffing from the heat and set it aside. Take your pigeons and salt & pepper them and squeeze lemon juice on them - inside and out.  Stuff the pigeons with the rice mixture and sew the cavity closed.  Arrange them in a pan and drizzle them with olive oil.  Pour 1 cup of chicken broth into the pan then cover it and bake for 1 hour or until done.  Remove the foil for the final 10 minutes so they brown.

Susie's Note:  Any poultry can be substituted for the pigeons, but I think that the stuffing tastes exceptional when it's used with game birds. If you manage to get fresh birds, see Cleaning game birds in the Kitchen Techniques section.


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